The dates for the 2021 Concacaf Champions League matches have been announced, with all four confirmed Major League Soccer entrants set to learn from their opponents in the February 10 draw in Miami, Florida.
Toronto FC could make five by defeating Canadian Premier League club Forge FC in the upcoming Canadian Championship final. Columbus Crew SC (MLS Cup), Philadelphia Union (Supporters’ Shield), Portland Timbers (MLS is Back Tournament) and Atlanta United (US Open Cup 2019) are already participating in the continental tournament.
CCL 2021, which would typically begin in mid-February, will now begin in April due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 edition was disrupted for eight months, and ultimately changed, as the public health situation had a profound impact on international competitions.
The round of 16 will be played from April 6 to 8 (first leg) and from April 13 to 15 (return leg). There will then be round-trip quarter-finals in late April and early May, as well as two-legged semi-finals in mid-August and late August. CCL 2021 will be crowned with a one-stage final, with the host determined by the best performance from the previous rounds through wins, draws and, if necessary, goal difference.
MLS is targeting the start of the 2021 season in March, which could give MLS teams more form and sharpness for CCL testing.
2021 CCL Calendar
- Draw: February 10
- Round of 16: April 6-8 (first leg) and April 13-15 (second leg)
- Quarter-finals: April 27-29 (first leg) and May 4-6 (second leg)
- Semi finals: August 10-12 (first leg) and August 24-26 (second leg)
- Final: October 26-28 (one way)
The winner of this year’s CCL competition will advance to the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup. MLS teams have never qualified for this global club competition, with LAFC narrowly missing in 2020 before losing against Tigres UANL in the final.
Clubs across North America qualify for the CCL through national leagues and cup competitions, as well as the Concacaf League. The full list of participants can be found below.
- Canada: Forge FC or Toronto FC *
- Costa Rica: Deportivo Saprissa and LD Alajuelense
- Dominican Republic: Club Atletico Pantoja
- Haiti: Arcahaie FC
- Honduras: CD Marathon and CD Olimpia
- Mexico: Club America, Club Leon, Cruz Azul and CF Monterrey
- Nicaragua: Real Esteli FC
- United States: Atlanta United FC, Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers